C64 Keyboard Adapter "Appledore"

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C64 Keyboard Adapter "Appledore"

HI all,

here you will find a small video on the "Appledore" C64 to Apple-1 Keyboard Adapter for which I completed the prototype:

 

https://youtu.be/STlKoO2uOyU

 

Main project page:

https://p-l4b.github.io/appledore/

 

- Designed for Apple-1, can work also with Apple II/II+ and any computer with ASCII/TTL keyboard interface.

 

- No frills: inexpensive and easy to build.

- Arduino/USB terminal also available, can be used as remote typing device or to transfer files.

- Open source: full documentation, schematic, source code, BOM are provided.

- PCB gerbers provided as-is, untested yet.

 

Enjoy! :-)

 

 

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Very interesting...  It looks

Very interesting...  It looks like a cheap alternative for an Apple-1 keyboard since there are a lot of C64 keyboards on eBay in the $50-$70 range.  Unfortunately most of them are all the way over in Hungary or Slovakia or somewhere else in Eastern Europe for some reason which is kind of a negative as far as shipping goes.

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:Very
softwarejanitor wrote:

Very interesting...  It looks like a cheap alternative for an Apple-1 keyboard since there are a lot of C64 keyboards on eBay in the $50-$70 range.  Unfortunately most of them are all the way over in Hungary or Slovakia or somewhere else in Eastern Europe for some reason which is kind of a negative as far as shipping goes.

 

I saw the same. It's definitely tempting still, regardless of the freight.

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If you are patient you might

If you are patient you might find ones from a US seller, possibly even cheaper or perhaps a non-working C64 you could part out.  A few years ago things like this were so cheap.  You could buy 1541 drives cheap enough just to pull the 6502 out of them or maybe a few Alps floppy frame parts.  Cheaper than you could buy the parts otherwise.  Not so anymore.

 

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I have quite literally all

I have quite literally all the materials on the BOM (pcbs aside) so I'll be keeping an eye open for a suitable keyboard in the states. This would look really slick. 

 

Great stuff from P-LAB as always :)

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softwarejanitor wrote:Very
softwarejanitor wrote:

Very interesting...  It looks like a cheap alternative for an Apple-1 keyboard since there are a lot of C64 keyboards on eBay in the $50-$70 range.  Unfortunately most of them are all the way over in Hungary or Slovakia or somewhere else in Eastern Europe for some reason which is kind of a negative as far as shipping goes.

 

I found these, looks like 30 eur plus 10 eur shipping to the states which is not bad at all IMHO. https://www.ebay.com/itm/265136985886

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I managed to find one from a

I managed to find one from a US seller.  If I didn't I might order one of those.  It isn't just the shipping cost, I really just don't like ordering from overseas if I don't have to because it often takes a long time for things to get through customs, etc.

 

I orderd 5 boards from JLCPCB.  I think I have most if not all of the parts on hand already.

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:I
softwarejanitor wrote:

I managed to find one from a US seller.  If I didn't I might order one of those.  It isn't just the shipping cost, I really just don't like ordering from overseas if I don't have to because it often takes a long time for things to get through customs, etc.

 

I orderd 5 boards from JLCPCB.  I think I have most if not all of the parts on hand already.

Haha nice, I did the same (ordered a few PCBs and found a suitable KB in the states). 

 

And I share your sentiment on customs, but at least it just takes time here, and (at least for now) we don't have to pay exorbitant amounts to get our parcels like our friends in Europe. 

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Yeah from what I've heard

Yeah from what I've heard there are often crazy high import duties and fees and then a lot of countries over there charge17-20% VAT on top of that...  Insane.

 

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Thank you for trying the gerbers....!

Hi all,

Thanks for trying the gerbers, let me know if there are any problems.... I just drew them based on the schematic but haven't had a chance to produce them yet.

 

For the same reason, it would be interesting  to know if the adapter also works on the Briel Replica1+, as I read that the connector there is set up with 'Apple II' pinout and not 'Apple-1'...

 

Thank you,

enjoy!

 

Claudio - P-LAB

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p-lab wrote:Hi all,Thanks for
p-lab wrote:

Hi all,

Thanks for trying the gerbers, let me know if there are any problems.... I just drew them based on the schematic but haven't had a chance to produce them yet.

 

For the same reason, it would be interesting  to know if the adapter also works on the Briel Replica1+, as I read that the connector there is set up with 'Apple II' pinout and not 'Apple-1'...

&

 

I don't have a Briel.  I will try it on my Apple-1 build when I get a chance.

 

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I'll be using a Briel; it

I'll be using a Briel; it does use the Apple II+ pinout on the keyboard socket it would appear. The 5V trace visually confirms this. 

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I just got a ship notice from

I just got a ship notice from JLCPCB, so I should have the boards fairly soon since they are sending by DHL.  I think I have everything including the Arduinos on hand so I should be able to assemble at least 1 or 2 boards right away.  The C64 keyboard I ordered off eBay should be here sometime early next week too.

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:I just
softwarejanitor wrote:

I just got a ship notice from JLCPCB, so I should have the boards fairly soon since they are sending by DHL.  I think I have everything including the Arduinos on hand so I should be able to assemble at least 1 or 2 boards right away.  The C64 keyboard I ordered off eBay should be here sometime early next week too.

 

That's awesome to hear. I expect my keyboard next week too, but I didn't spring for DHL on the PCBs, so those might take another couple weeks to arrive for me. 

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I went with the DHL shipping

I went with the DHL shipping because it wasn't that much more expensive and I've had some terrible luck with some of the other options, either slow delivery times or lost packages.

 

The total charge with shipping for 5 boards was around $22, which is under $5 a board.  That's pretty cheap when you think about it.  The other shipping options wouldn't have saved more than a couple bucks per board really.

 

 

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I order small runs of boards

I order small runs of boards pretty frequently; if it's really important I go with DHL for sure, but I actually have historically excellent luck with my local USPS hubs and things that come in that way. It might help that I have only one hop between Chicago customs and my local PO. I just checked my previous order from JLCPCB, and last time the cheap shipping was 10 days total transit. Not too bad; I'm used to roughly 15 days for most things I order from outside the states. I ended up paying $12.50 total for 10 boards. 

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The C64 keyboard arrived

The C64 keyboard arrived early today.  Estimate from DHL is that the boards should be here here on Thursday.

 

Guess I should stop getting distracted by other things and finish up my first Apple-1 build!

 

I've actually got pretty much everything for my 2nd already too.

 

 

 

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Fixed version of Arduino source code available!

Dear friends,

please be informed that a fixed version of Arduino source code has been just uploaded to GitHub repo:

 

https://p-l4b.github.io/appledore/

 

Changes:

  • Added "^" key mapping previously forgotten... <facepalm>
  •  Fixed non-blocking inconsistencies in code (Thanks jmmh!)
  • Polished out bit cycle in outChar (Thanks nippur72!)

 

Thank you all! :-)

Claudio - P-LAB

 

 

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I just got an email from DHL.

I just got an email from DHL...  looks like my Appledore boards will be here today.

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:I just
softwarejanitor wrote:

I just got an email from DHL...  looks like my Appledore boards will be here today.

 

Awesome to hear!The only functional part I didn't have on hand was the transistors, which will be here today. I didn't have a good 16 pin dip M/M ribbon cable but I'll have that sorted. Digikey makes them to order which is pretty nice. My PCBs have been posted but I expect it to take ~10 days or so before I receive them. It is tempting to break out a breadboard or perf board in the mean time. 

 

The Briel Replica 1 Plus has a jumper right by the keyboard socket to provide 5V to pin 1 of the keyboard socket, labelled ASCII ENABLE. I will either install this jumper, or, I may opt to run a dedicated 5V line back to the PSU from the righthand pin which connects 5V to the ASCII socket. I have found the main thing to keep my Replica1 reliable is to keep the 5V level proper with a regulated/adjustable Meanwell power supply. You get glitches mostly in the display/terminal (missing characters or extra '@' characters randomly) if the 5v level dips much. Because this ASCII keyboard socket would be powering the Appledore and the Keyboard itself, I think a dedicated 5V line would be good, rather than being connected to a trace opposite the power input which is already run past several ICs. Thoughts are welcome on that. 

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I have the transistors from

I have the transistors from one of the assortment boxes I ordered a while back.  They've been handy as I've been building projects because I usually have what I need.  I bought assortment packs of a bunch of different types of components like resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc.  I do find that one or two values tend to run out way faster than all the others.  I usually buy big packs (like 1000 each of resistors in the values that I commonly use, 1K, 10K, 470, etc..).  I've been building a bunch of stuff for both Apple-1 and Apple II so all that has paid off.

 

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I didn't even think to check

I didn't even think to check my assortment boxes, but I generally do the same. One of my capacitor assortments sits out just because it has a great table of uf/nf etc conversions.  I should probably get an assorted pack of transistors to accompany my sets of resistors, caps, sockets, etc. 

 

Looking forward to hearing your progress as you have time!

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skate323k137 wrote:I didn't
skate323k137 wrote:

I didn't even think to check my assortment boxes, but I generally do the same. One of my capacitor assortments sits out just because it has a great table of uf/nf etc conversions.  I should probably get an assorted pack of transistors to accompany my sets of resistors, caps, sockets, etc. 

 

Looking forward to hearing your progress as you have time!

 

The boards from JLCPCB just arrived via DHL about 10 minutes ago...

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:The
softwarejanitor wrote:
The boards from JLCPCB just arrived via DHL about 10 minutes ago...

That's exciting :)  I went with Blue to match the render on the site, but I think classic green would look really nice especially with a real Apple-1 / replica.

 

If you're anywhere near the Midwest and wouldn't mind posting me a single PCB, in case mine do get stuck in customs, let me know. I'd be happy to cover your cost, and/or send you a blue one or two when they show up in return.  

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Here it is mostly assembled..

Here it is mostly assembled...  gotta go upstairs and dig through some boxes of parts and find the right Arduino to fit this.  I am pretty sure I've got several of them.

 

I'm assuming a 74LS374 will work in place of the 74HCT374, but I will go ahead and order some 74HCT374 just in case, and for the other 4 boards.  It appears that I'm even down to my last couple 74LS374s so I need to refresh that stock as well.

 

 

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I'm interested in that Apple

I'm interested in that Apple-1 Micro SD card too...

 

I've got some ideas for Apple-1 cards based on the CH376 USB Storage module and the ESP12E WiFi module as well.

 

 

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Looks beautiful.  I can

Looks beautiful. 

 

I can personally attest that the SD card from P-Lab is absolutely amazing. In my very humble opinion it turns an Apple-1 into a more approachable computer experience. And the load times are unreal fast. You won't regret it if you get one. 

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74 LS/HC/HCT 374

Hi,

I tested both LS and HC and they work well.

I stated HCT on to the docs 'cause it is usually the modern "drop-in" family for TTLs, and because of its wide availability, but it shouldn't be critical.

 

I admit being a little anxious about the results since this is one of the rare times in which someone build a PCB that has not been tested by me before... :-O

 

Best Regards,

Claudio - P-LAB

 

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p-lab wrote:Hi,I tested both
p-lab wrote:

Hi,

I tested both LS and HC and they work well.

I stated HCT on to the docs 'cause it is usually the modern "drop-in" family for TTLs, and because of its wide availability, but it shouldn't be critical.

 

I admit being a little anxious about the results since this is one of the rare times in which someone build a PCB that has not been tested by me before... :-O

<

 

I ordered a tube of 74HCT374 and a tube of 74LS374...  the LS parts came in today...  but last evening I was looking in my chip stash and found a full tube of 74LS374 I missed before when I was looking for them...  So anyway, I will have plenty of these chips on hand for the future.

 

I also dug out 5 Arduino Nanos for the boards I built...  I just got to dig up the right USB cable and program them.  Oh...  also got to dig up the 16 pin DIP jumpers I have around here somewhere.

 

 

 

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After some frustration due to

After some frustration due to my own confusion, I was able to get this working on a breadboard.

 

My issue was I was using a C16 Keyboard, which has the same connector but totally different pinout. I sorted that out using the docs for the open source 'Commodore Keyboard Tester' which has connectors for both c64 and c16 keyboards. Connecting just the ROW and COL lines, I have a usable keyboard (reset and clear still on the Briel itself, but I can tackle that hurdle at a later time).

 

Here's my rats nest of a proto board I built out, I used an old z80/Apple1 expansion card board I had sitting around which conveniently breaks out adjacent pads from standard width ICs and also has a GND and power trace/rail to work with. Ignoring the unused edge connector, it was a perfect candidate for this circuit.Thank you P-LAB / Claudio / etc, I can't wait to build this out on the correct PCB (And maybe even try the right keyboard lol)

 

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Useful reminder that the C16

Useful reminder that the C16 keyboard has a different pinout from the C64.  At one time there was a ton of C16 keyboards and parts on the surplus market along wih the Plus 4 and some other Commodore models that sold poorly. A bunch of it was in the late 1980s after those machines had been discontinued past any warranty periods and then more when Commodore went bankrupt the first time in I think it was 1994 a lot of their parts inventories got liquidated.  Looking at that keyboard it maybe has a better layout in some ways than the C64.  Anyway, in case someone else runs into the same problem it would be cool if you make the altered code available.

 

 

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I have a couple key caps to

I have a couple key caps to move, mainly the hyphen key, but otherwise it's very usable. 

 

I did not alter any code, only the pinout of the keyboard being attached. I can link that info though.  

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For using C16 Keyboard, I

For using C16 Keyboard, I used this for a reference:

 

https://github.com/svenpetersen1965/Commodore-Keyboard-Tester/blob/main/Rev.%201/pdf/C%3D_KBTst_Rev_1.pdf

 

Since it shows the pinouts for both C16 and C64 keyboards near each other, it's easy to see what to swap. Only using the ROW and COL pins, I used male to female jumper wires to connect each signal from the keyboard as appropriate to the Appledore. 

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Some things to note regarding

Some things to note regarding C16 Keyboard;

 

I'm using a Replica1 Plus which does not have CLEARSCR present on the keyboard socket

In addition, the C16 Keyboard has no RESTORE key, or similarly wired key, to act as the RESET. For a Briel owner, this is not an issue because the system has buttons and pin headers for this, but for owners of real Apple 1 / clones, it could present a minor hurdle at the moment.

Key mapping is pretty good, but a couple keys could use to be moved around. With as well as it works, it will probably be a moment before or if I decide to try to modify the firmware to match up the last few keys. 

CLEAR/HOME acts as ESCAPE

INST/DEL acts as expected (underscore/backspace)

 

One thing I do want to note for other Briel owners, whether you own a Commodore keyboard or not, is that this Adapters USB input I prefer over the one built into the Briel. The main reason I say this, is that when using a serial terminal connected to the R1+ USB, you have to engage uppercase on the host computers keyboard. Otherwise, you'll see the keys in your local terminal, but the system will not respond to the alpha characters. This Appledore adapter on the other hand does not care if my caps lock is on or off when working in the serial terminal, a serious convenience when I'm doing things in several applications at once. 

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20221114_160722.jpg

 

Had a box from JLCPCB show up today. A nice improvement from my proto board, visually. I made it as low profile as possible and I'm pretty happy with it. 

 

Digikey will make the male to male DIP 16 cables on request, so that was very convenient. You essentially pay for the pieces and they assemble and ship them. 

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Appledore 1.1 now available!

Dear friends,

I am happy to inform you that the Appledore project is now compatible with the Commodore 16 keyboard, which has a completely different matrix/keys as well as lacking the 'physical' RESTORE key.

 

This is thanks to the collaboration of a gentleman of this group, skate323k137, whom I would like to thank for his commitment and time. :-)

Not only that: he also worked out the necessary modifications to make the Replica-1 Plus compatible with Appledore, which lacked the CLRSCR signal on the keyboard connector (Apple II/II+ standard).

A specific version of the firmware for Arduino is therefore available for the Commodore 16 keyboard, again developed by skate323k137.

 

The previous "C64 only" 1.0 version, remains valid, tested and fully functional (the source code for Arduino is the same).

 

You can find all the necessary information for the realization of "version 1.1" (schematic and Gerber included) on the usual project page:

https://p-l4b.github.io/appledore/

Like version 1.0, Appledore 1.1 is open source and free to download and modify under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 licence.

 

 

If anything is unclear, please feel free to contact me!

 

Enjoy! :-)

 

Claudio - P-LAB

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It was very fun to help work

It was very fun to help work on this project, thanks for your willingness to collaborate.

 

If anyone in the US needs PCBs for either version, I have several left over, just let me know and I can mail them to users who will use them. 

 

As p-lab mentioned, there is now a C16 specific firmware. The C64 firmware has worked great for me (I've since obtained one of those keyboards too). After he took the time to revise the PCB layout, adding a connector for each of the 2 keyboard types, I took the time to debug and fix the ~6 keys or so that needed software fixes for the C16 keyboard to work without moving any keycaps. He was of course helpful and got me started in the process.

 

My friends and family have given me great feedback on the Commodore keyboard, it's a nice visual and functional improvement from a PS/2 keyboard on the Briel. 

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Appledore 1.1a add-on for RC2014 now available!

Dear friends,

I have just published a small addition to the Appledore project. Don't worry, it's not a bugfix. ;-)

It is simply the addition of a 1x6 connector so that the SERIAL TTL interface can also be available.

It will be useful on other platforms, such as in the RC2014 project.

 

Thanks to skate323k137, as always, for the suggestion.

In case you use Appledore with the Rc2014 computer make sure to load the appropriate version of firmware for the microcontroller (direct link on the page).

 

The PCB revision is 1.1a and is freely downloadable like the previous ones.

https://p-l4b.github.io/appledore/

 

Enjoy! :-)

Claudio - P-LAB

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